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Maida Smiles (W. London)

Tel: 020 3974 1777
12 Jul

Common Dental Problems You Can Have If You Suffer From Anxiety Or Stress


Most people tend to deal with some degree of stress or anxiety daily.

However, we know that this stressful time has brought growing health concerns, economic pressures, and uncertainties for us all. These combined factors are likely to result in higher stress and anxiety levels. In addition to affecting your mental health, stress can also affect your oral health!

Today’s blog will focus on the dental problems you may experience if you suffer from anxiety or stress. 

1- Teeth Grinding or Clenching 

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are symptoms associated with a condition also known as bruxism. Often, people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth, as most activity usually occurs in your sleep. You may suffer from bruxism if you notice signs of chips, flattened tips or sharp edges. The condition must be diagnosed on time, and you take steps to prevent further damage to your tooth enamel. Maida Smiles Dental Clinic offers several solutions for patients suffering from bruxism, including custom-fitted night guards you can wear while sleeping, and even a Botox treatment to help relax your jaw.

2- Gum Disease 

It is no secret that stress can have a detrimental effect on our immune system. This impairs our body’s ability to fight infections and can lead to a cycle of gum disease in patients predisposed to the condition. Once your gums get inflamed, harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream and can further harm your overall health. In cases of severe gum disease, the bacteria that is present on the inside edges of the teeth begins to penetrate below the gum. When this happens, the bacteria cause irritation and infection, which, unless treated, can spread throughout the mouth’s soft tissue and even eventually penetrate the jawbone. At this stage of the disease, tooth loss is almost guaranteed. As a rule of thumb, once your gums get inflamed, harmful bacteria is likely to enter the bloodstream and lead to even further harm. Some of the symptoms of dental problems related to gums include: 

  • Swollen or puffy gums.
  • Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums.
  • Gums that feel tender when touched.
  • Gums that bleed easily.
  • Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing.
  • Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pus between your teeth and gums.

If you notice one of the symptoms above, please get in touch with us as soon as possible, and we will be sure to book your dental examination right away. More on gum disease

3- TMD and TMJ 

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are common conditions that affect jaw muscles and joints. Patients suffering from TMD experience popping noises and clicking of their jaw, as well as regular unexplained headaches and pressure around the temporomandibular joints, the joints in front of your ears (TMJ). In the more progressive stages of the condition, some patients report trouble opening and closing their jaw and eating. 

 Under abnormal pressure, our muscles tend to feel sore and inflamed. Furthermore, stress provoked by the Coronavirus can also lead to the tightening muscles of our neck, face and jaw. 

4- Dry mouth

Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is the sensation of oral dryness. Dry mouth is a common, complex, and under-recognized condition, and it is typically associated with reduced saliva flow. Human saliva is a mixture of fluids with several essential roles in everyday life. These include cleansing the oral cavity, facilitating speech and swallowing, protecting oral tissues (including teeth) against physical and microbial insults, and maintaining a neutral pH. Patients with a reduced salivary flow report tasting, chewing, swallowing and speaking difficulties. The severity of this particular dental problem of Xerostomia can range from mild oral discomfort to significant oral disease that can compromise a patient’s health, dietary intake, and quality of life. Some more symptoms include:

  • A sticky, dry, or burning feeling in the mouth.
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking.
  • Altered taste or intolerance for spicy, salty, or sour foods or drinks.
  • a dry or sore throat.
  • cracked, peeling, or atrophic lips.
  • a dry, rough tongue.
  • mouth sores.
  • an infection in the mouth (e.g., oral candidiasis)

Any of us can go through a period of poor mental health, and dental problems are reoccurring in people with high-stress levels. Everyone experiences anxiety and fear sometimes – these are normal and helpful human emotions that help us deal with danger. However, suppose you feel that you or someone you know is experiencing excessive and irrational anxiety and worries that become ongoing and distressing. In that case, we strongly encourage you to share your concerns during your next dental visit. 

If you suspect you may be suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, please do not wait to book your dental checkup at 020 3974 1777.